coffee talk 9.11.15

Hi hi & happy Friday everybody!

What good deed do you have planned for today?

I saw a really beautiful commercial recently about a girl born on September 11, 2001. The now 14 year old dedicates her birthday each year to acts of service. It’s an important reminder that we have the ability to turn a day of sadness into something more productive and beneficial to the world. I’ll never forget where I was 14 years ago (8th grade art class) and the helplessness, fear, and sadness I felt. There are times it still feels like a sad and scary world to live in, but we can all do our part to make it a bit better today.

About 9/11 Day – Our Story

What would be your lip sync battle song?

I’ve wondered about this for a while. I’m a Jimmy Fallon-fanatic and would die at the chance to battle the master. I’m thinking I’d go the throwback route, but nobody could top Ellen’s BBHMM.

Watch Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon Compete in an Epic Lip Sync Battle

Welcome, pumpkins.

I’ll never understand the backlash towards pumpkin season, and I will fully embrace my “basic” side and welcome all the pumpkins with open arms. Put some in my beers, my lattes, my muffins, and my everyday life ASAP.

Homemade Takes on 11 Irresistible Pumpkin Spice Treats

Just a reminder.

Because a positive mind brings a positive life.

goodthoughts
(Source)


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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easy no-yeast whole wheat individual pizza

If you’re the kind of person who has the patience to let dough rise for 24 hours, or if you think your Italian great-grandmother would roll over in her grave from reading this title, this recipe is definitely not your style. But, if you’re like me and find yourself searching your pantry for a quick, tasty vehicle to consume as much cheese as possible for dinner, then read on!

pizzanight
Pizza is always the answer.

My old roommate was the first to introduce me to the easy world of no-yeast dough. It’s not surprising, since our meals often consisted of two main food groups: carbs & cheese. Hi, Mellie!

This dough will result in a crispier, flatbread style crust. While it’s not going to rival your favorite takeout pie, it will provide a great blank canvas to load up with whatever pizza toppings you love (or, in my case, whichever ones you can find in a nearly empty fridge).

The best part: it takes no time at all. Simply combine the flour, baking soda, and seasonings, then slowly mix in the water, oil, and honey. Flour your surface and stretch the crust out as evenly as possible, creating a shell about 8-10 inches in diameter. You can pinch the edges in just a bit to create a sturdier crust if you wish.

wholewheatpizzacrust
Don’t worry empty shell – I have big plans for you.

Pop the shell directly onto a pizza stone and give a good spray with olive oil. While the crust cooks, grab your ingredients.

The most important pizza topping is cheese, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
The most important pizza topping is always cheese!

One quick trip back in the oven and you are ready to go! I suggest serving the pie with some extra oil and/or marinara for dipping. You can easily double the recipe, but the individual pies cook more evenly and don’t require any sharing!

noyeastwholewheatpizza

Easy No-Yeast Whole Wheat Individual Pizza

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp seasonings (I used a pizza spice mix – oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
*** Pizza toppings: I used fresh mozzarella, parmesan, fire-roasted peppers, and baby spinach
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, seasonings and salt.
  2. Slowly mix in warm water. Add honey and olive oil – use your hands to combine the dough completely.
  3. Flour your surface and slowly knead the dough into a circle. Stretch dough carefully, keeping the crust even and about 1/4 inch thick throughout. You can pinch up the edges for a crust if you wish.
  4. Put dough on a pre-heated pizza stone (you can use a baking sheet if you don’t have a stone – but pre-heat it to give the crust extra crisp). Spray generously with oil spray (such as Pam Olive Oil) and bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Carefully arrange your toppings on the crust, and bake for about 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve with extra oil or marinara sauce for dipping and enjoy!

whole wheat marbled banana bread

Sometimes I’ll purposely let bananas go brown just as an excuse to make some banana bread. I think the fruit flies enjoy my secret habit just as much as I do!

Though delicious, banana bread is typically full of added sugar and white flour. I wanted something I could feel a little better about eating for breakfasts or snacks this week, so I combined a few favorite recipes to give you this delicious marbled bread option. The good news is this cocoa-y, nutty flavored bread doesn’t taste as healthy as it truly is!

whole wheat banana bread

Whole Wheat Marbled Banana Bread

  • About 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 &  3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 pan with coconut oil or grease with oil/butter and set aside.
  2. Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl. Add applesauce, maple syrup, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, add cocoa powder. Scoop 1/4 cup of banana mixture into cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
  4. In a larger bowl, whisk flour, flaxseed, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Pour remaining banana mixture into large bowl and whisk until just combined.
  6. Pour the large bowl of banana batter into greased 9×5 pan.
  7. Add cocoa batter to top of the banana batter. Use a knife to swirl the batters together.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Cover pan with foil and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

wwbananabread

A few recipe notes…
  • The riper your bananas, the sweeter the recipe will be! Overall, this bread is not very sweet – which leaves room for delicious toppings like honey or nut butter. If you’d like a sweeter bread, add 1/4 cup brown sugar to your wet ingredients.
  • Try layering the batters (1/2 banana, cocoa, 1/2 banana) for a pretty layered version.
  • Add-ins are always welcome! Try walnuts, shredded coconut, or (my personal favorite) mini chocolate chips. Add your add-ins to the dry mixture prior to combining.

happy national dog day!

A busy few days and a bit of a stomach bug have kept the blog quiet lately, but I can’t help but stop in for National Dog Day! Below is a collection of links and images to celebrate man’s best friend. Extra kisses and treats to all the pups today!

Vicktory Dogs: Where Are They Now?

Here’s where Mike Vick’s fighting dogs have ended up. Because millionaire professional athletes are definitely not the only ones who “deserve” second chances in life.

Happy Birthday, DogTipper!

The blog is celebrating their 7th anniversary by offering a 30% discount at their PawZaar store! Check it out.

Are you guilty of forgetting this?

I definitely am! Good reminders, especially in these hot weather months.

5 reasons to wash your dog's bowl every day'

Let’s Celebrate!

What would you add to this list of ways to enjoy the day? Cooper’s celebration of choice would likely be a giant spoonful of peanut butter.

Inspiring Instadogs

I follow an embarrassing amount of “famous pets” on Instagram, and I don’t regret a single one!

Share Your Favorite Furballs!

Because who can resist, right? Comment with photos of your dogs and join the party!

Cooper


Enjoy your day, and I promise more adoptable pups + something delicious later this week. 🙂

no-bake chocolate peanut butter oat bites

You know how sometimes you’re trying to be a little healthier, but you just need chocolate to survive the day?

chocolatebites

That’s me right now… and pretty much every other day of my life.

chocobites

These little bites give a great chocolate-y boost with just a few ingredients you can feel good about. I cut them into tiny bites so I can have just a few to satisfy my cravings, but you can also give them a go as small no-bake cookies or even rolled up into little balls.

chocolatebites

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bites

YIELDS: 32-36 Bites
  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  1. Heat peanut butter, oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla over low heat. Stir until completely smooth, remove from heat.
  2. Combine oats, chocolate chips, and chia seeds in a separate bowl.
  3. Once slightly cooled, pour peanut butter mixture over oats and stir to completely combine.
  4. Pour mixture into greased 9×5 loaf pan, cover, and refrigerate until set. Cut bars into 32-36 small pieces (cut in half lengthwise, cut each half in quarters, split each quarter into 4 pieces), store in fridge.

These are easily customizable! Add in some dried fruit, chopped nuts, or try a different nut butter or sweetener to adapt to your tastes. These gems taste fudge-y and dessert-like, but you can easily reduce the sweetener and chocolate to make it a healthier snack.

* Always double check your brands if you have any intolerances, but these bites are naturally gluten-free and can be made dairy-free with the correct chocolate chips. 

puppy bites: adoptables 8.16.15

It was a quiet morning at the shelter, but I got to play with these two sweeties!

Bambi1

Bambi2Bambi3

Dakota

Dakota2

Dakota3Bambi & Dakota are both new to the shelter and aren’t listed on the website yet, but there are plenty of other sweet pups looking for homes at PAWS Philadelphia.

In other wonderful news, #ClearTheShelters day was a huge success nationwide! More than 9,000 pets in the Philadelphia region alone found homes. PAWS set a new shelter record of over 60 adoptions (plus more awaiting approvals)! Congrats to all the adoptive families on your amazing new additions.

coffee talk 8.14.15

Is it just me, or does Friday coffee actually taste better?

Are you obsessed with Fixer Upper?

I’m obsessed to the point of re-watching episodes multiple times just in case I pick up something new. Do you think Chip & Jo would consider adopting me? Fixer Upper reminds me a bit of my pre-teen obsession with Trading Spaces. Though my apartment is nowhere near as cute as anything Joanna Gaines has ever encountered, I try. These photos make me want to book my flight to Waco so I can be momentarily closer to the perfect Gaines family farm.

22 Farm-Tastic Decorating Ideas Inspired by HGTV Host Joanna Gaines

What’s your favorite Pixar short?

Sometimes I see Pixar movies in the theater. Sometimes I like the animated “shorts” better than the film itself. Apparently the short shown before Inside Out sparked a lot of differing opinions, but I loved it. Oh, and, sometimes I cry in the theater before the real movie even begins.

‘Lava’ a Disney Pixar Musical Short

What did you play with while growing up?

Kudos to Target for realizing that this answer has nothing to do with gender. We struggle to understand that encouraging girls to play “like ladies” and choose pink and frilly toys over scientific or construction-based options leads to sad truths like the fact that there are far fewer females than males in STEM industries (Women in STEM). Boys can love Barbies, girls can love GI Joes, and we can all learn to love one another for who we are and not how well we conform to what society expects of us. Getting rid of gender-based toy signs is a very small step in the right direction of greater acceptance.

Target’s Decision to Remove Gender-Based Signs Is Just the Start

When is the last time you watched Bambi?

It’s definitely been a while, but this real-life footage of Bambi and Thumper just makes my day.

Someone Caught A Real-Life Bambi And Thumper Playing


Have an amazing weekend! Don’t forget to share the news about #ClearTheShelters day tomorrow!

clear the shelters day

Hey guys! First of all hi to all my Facebook friends, thank you for all your excitement over my new blog! I hope you guys will keep reading. If you’re looking for an easy way to keep up with this blog and others, I suggest setting up a Feedly account! It’s easy to add all of your news sources and blogs so you can read everything in one place. You can always bookmark the site on your browser and/or use the WordPress “Follow” button in the right column to keep up with new posts, as well.

Today I wanted to share a cool new promotion I heard about on the news recently.

Source: NBC Philadelphia
Source: NBC Philadelphia

NBC10 has partnered with local animal shelters to waive pet adoption fees for Clear the Shelters Day, this Saturday, August 15th.

Source: Animal Welfare Association; Voorhees, NJ
Source: Animal Welfare Association; Voorhees, NJ

According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals (3.9 million dogs) enter shelters nationwide each year. While 2.7 million of those animals are adopted, the same amount are sadly euthanized.

Source: Pennsylvania SPCA; Philadelphia, PA
Source: Pennsylvania SPCA; Philadelphia, PA

Spread the word about Clear the Shelters Day using #ClearTheShelters on social media.

Source: Animal Rescue League; Berks County, PA
Source: Animal Rescue League; Berks County, PA

You can help save a life! Check out this list of local shelters participating in the day!

puppy bites: adoptables 8.10.15

Hey guys! Yesterday I spent some time at PAWS Philadelphia playing with some of the adoptable puppies. I wish I could take every single one home with me, but sadly that isn’t possible. Hopefully sharing some of my snaps of these pups will help to find them their forever homes!

IMG_4201[1] IMG_4220[1] IMG_4225[1] IMG_4235[1] IMG_4242[1] IMG_4243[1] IMG_4249[1] IMG_4250[1] IMG_4253[1]


These dogs (and more) are available for adoption at PAWS Philadelphia.

Not local? Check out www.adoptapet.com for adoptables near you!